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View Full Version : Don't Count Your Quill Gordons Before They Hatch


nvr2L8
03-10-2009, 04:19 PM
Monday was the perfect day for fishing. It was in the 70’s for the third day in a row, the water temperature had been steadily escalating, the weather was beautiful and all the weekend visitors had emptied out of the Park. And playing hookie from work to go fish just made it that much more perfect. I stopped by LRO to get some little black caddis flies and was encouraged to also get some Quill Gordon emergers that were reportedly killers in a hatch even when the dry version wasn’t working. As I was leaving LRO, I had mentioned that I was headed up to get my March fish (just one picture out of my multitudinous catch for the day) and that, after December, January and February, everything from this point on would be “a piece of cake”. Paula quickly told me to “touch wood” so I didn’t jinx myself – kind advice but, alas, too late.

I started up on Little River just beyond the point upstream from Metcalf Bottoms after the road crosses back over the river. The water temp was over 51 and the river was beautiful. Results? No fish, no hatch, though I did see a couple of individual QGs coming off the water like little fairies floating through the air – a beautiful sight. I tried a couple of dries (including QG), nymphs, an emerger – nothing. I decided to move upstream to a stretch that I’ve had some success in the past and there was a car already parked there. No problem, just moved on up and put in with the same level of success – morning gone.

My plan all along had been to move from LR up to the lower end of the West Prong of Little Pigeon at the first Quiet Walkway so in the afternoon, I stuck with my plan and drove on up. An interesting side note – there was a group of college-age kids that pulled into the quiet walkway about the same time I did and we headed down the trail at the same time. One of the guys said, “Excuse me, does this trail lead down to the river?” (Note, I was carrying my fly rod.) I said, “Yeah, dry fishing gets really old after a while.” (Here’s your sign.)

Well the WPLP was full after the rains the night before but the water was, once again, over 51 degrees and there were pools and eddies that looked promising so I stayed committed to my plan and headed upstream. I saw quite a few little black stoneflies so I was pretty sure I was in good shape with my newly-purchased tiny black caddis. I had a couple of trout rise to my fly and then head back down, never to be seen again. All day, no catch, no March fish, much less enough to feed the 5,000.

Back to my “piece of cake”, a long time co-worker in Oak Ridge once said, “Anybody can have their cake and eat it, too. The really hard thing is to eat your cake and have it, too.” Apparently, I ate my cake at LRO and there was nothing left for the rest of the day. Good news – beautiful day, gorgeous streams, and I was fishing instead of working. Even though, the long range forecast has nothing in it that looks like a 70 degree day, much less several in a row, there is still plenty of March left and surely there’s a fish out there with a piece of cake in its mouth just waiting for me.

flyguys
03-10-2009, 04:31 PM
Charlie B, You paint a nice picture. Maybe next time things will work out more favorably. Your right, It is good to get out after a long winter! Good luck on your next trip. flyguys

cardfly
03-10-2009, 04:43 PM
Charlie,

your post has me chomping at the bit. Many of my friends ask after every trip, "how many did you catch" and when I say none they look at me like I'm crazy. Then I show them a pic or 2 of where I fished and tell them about the peace and tranquility and I look at them like THEY are crazy for asking.

Sounds like a great outing to me. I'm sure you will get yours and my fish for the month of March. I'll be down and try getting mine on March 20........

duckypaddler
03-10-2009, 07:47 PM
I fished up there this afternoon. Fished Hike up Elkmont. Tried the Quill Gordon with the Quill Gordon emerger in tow and no s much as a strike.

A beautiful day, and I was just glad to get out there. I think I'll head to the Clinch tomorrow. Anyone up for a Canoe trip? I want to try out my new Canoe that I purchased from CinciVol.

Byron Begley
03-10-2009, 08:41 PM
We are blaming it on clear nights and a full moon. We are perplexed. It will change soon. It always does.

Byron

PeteCz
03-10-2009, 09:06 PM
Charlie, I had to spend the last two days in lovely Houston TX (extreme hyperbole). I would gladly trade a complete skunking in the rain...maybe even a fall with a broken knee cap and two snake bites before having to go back to Houston again...

As you mentioned, it beat working...especially if you have to travel to some hideous place like....

(disclaimer: for anyone out there that is a resident or admirer of Houston TX, I profoundly apologize for my inability to to enjoy what must be a very enjoyable place. After all it is the 4th largest city in the US and growing at a rate that will put it the third largest (passing Chicago) in about 10 years...All those people must know something, right?)

BlueRaiderFan
03-10-2009, 09:57 PM
Man...I can't wait until May (cabin in Townsend for three days). I may have to tent camp sooner.

Barbara
03-12-2009, 11:51 AM
Charlie B.

Sorry for no fish but any day in the Smokies is better than working! I fished Sunday. Jack and I had a picnic on a rock by the stream. Really didn't matter that I hadn't had a strike all morning. What a beautiful day/place.

Got some strikes Sunday afternoon. The trout were so sluggish. They would float up, look at the fly, some made a halfhearted strike, some just sank into the depths. Maybe a month from now.......

Barbara

Paula Begley
03-12-2009, 12:10 PM
Oh...Charlie. I'm so sorry. :frown:

Paula

nvr2L8
03-12-2009, 04:17 PM
Barbara,
Glad Sunday was more pleasant for you even without a fish. Next month will be a winner, I'm sure.

Paula,
Between the beautiful day, no work and the "Here's your sign" moment, there's certainly no need to be sorry. And you tried your best to warn me - you just couldn't read my mind to keep me from opening my big mouth. As far as the fishing part goes, I had Great Expectations and ended up with Mrs. Haversham. (Seems like there was a moldy old cake in that story, too.) :rolleyes:

Brian Griffing
03-12-2009, 06:12 PM
As far as the fishing part goes, I had Great Expectations and ended up with Mrs. Haversham. (Seems like there was a moldy old cake in that story, too.) :rolleyes:
Charlie,
Wow! Getting a Dickens reference into a fishing story: that's impressive. It's also good to hear that I'm not the only one who failed to connect recently. I took my 3 year old son, Jack, up Tremont on Wednesday and failed to land a fish in 2+ hours of fishing in a light rain. There were bugs coming off the water, BWO's and a few stoneflies, and the water temp was right around 50. Anyway, I had a great time just being in the woods, but I think his highlight was the lollipop at LRO on the way home. Towards the end of the day, standing there in the rain and watching me fish with no results, Jack's perception of me slowly changed from a wealthy benefactor, to an escaped convict. After two hours he said, "I thought you were gonna catch me a fish, Magwich." I said, "I'm trying, Pip."
Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

Paula Begley
03-12-2009, 08:23 PM
Between the beautiful day, no work..."It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."

And you tried your best to warn me - you just couldn't read my mind to keep me from opening my big mouth.HAHA! Well, we are supposed to be a full service fly shop. I'll bone up on my mind reading skills. :cool:

Paula

jeffnles1
03-12-2009, 11:23 PM
If it makes you guys feel any better about your fishless days, I'm here in beautiful Northern Kentucky just 14 glorious miles south of Cincinnati Ohio and enjoying yet more of our beautiful late winter early spring weather. Think Houston but smaller and not as warm and you'll get a pretty good idea of what I'm looking at. While I'm spending my days in a 8'X10' cubicle on the second floor of a 16 floor tower office building looking out my "window" at what can best be described as the crack house and dreaming of standing in a mountain stream, you guys are getting to do it.

In all honesty, I love to read the fishing stories. It somehow makes work a little easier. To me, work is that thing I have to do so that I can afford to do the things I like to do.

I'll be fishing soon and will be in my loved mountains before the summer is over for darn sure. I just don't think I'll make the quill gordon hatch this spring though.

Jeff

Barbara
03-13-2009, 11:35 AM
I am amazed at the highbrow level of great literature knowledge on this board. I will check out something at the library so I can continue to understand the posts!

Paula...Need update on your niece's birthday party, any sprains, twists, bruises?

Paula Begley
03-13-2009, 02:41 PM
Paula...Need update on your niece's birthday party, any sprains, twists, bruises?

Oh ye, of little faith!

It's tonight. :biggrin:

Paula

jeffnles1
03-13-2009, 04:05 PM
Oh ye, of little faith!

It's tonight. :biggrin:

Paula


We're expecting a full report tomorrow.
Jeff

Stonefly
03-13-2009, 05:53 PM
I was over on Tuesday, great weather but not a lot of bugs and only one leetle feesh.

I did the same thing last year, tried to time the day that the water hit the magic number. Similar results that time too.

I took a temp of 52 just below Metcalf, but things weren't really popping. Did see a few Quill Gordons, and the one small fish I caught did hit on top, my Thingamabobber. Next pass thru, he took a small red copper john.

Still, it was great to be fishing rather than working. And the little 'bow was real purty.

I did see a bigger fish, a sculpin that I nearly stepped on. Had to be 9 inches or more.

sb

bones
03-15-2009, 06:42 PM
Fished Cosby Friday and Saturday. Quill Gordons were out in force above the campground, however the fish did want them. Dry, wet emerger did'nt seem to matter them fish did not want anything to do with mayflies.

There were also tons of small black stones and tan caddis. Tan or yella EHC brought numerous brookies and a few small rainbows to hand. Will post a report and some pics when I geet them emailed to me.

Byron Begley
03-15-2009, 07:17 PM
Hey Bones,

I talked to you today right? I'm sure that was you. You are home already. I enjoyed our chat. Thanks to you and your buddy for serving our country. And thanks for being our customer and friend. Where does "bones" come from? Someone told Ted today that he left his window down in his car and when he returned it was full of blue quills.

Byron

Byron Begley
03-15-2009, 07:20 PM
Steve,

Sorry I missed you the other day. I was on a rare occasion out of the shop doing some volunteer work.

Tyrone

Barbara
03-16-2009, 10:43 AM
Originally Posted by Paula Begley
Oh ye, of little faith!

It's tonight.

Paula


We're expecting a full report tomorrow.
Jeff

Paula,

If you are able....:rolleyes: full report please!!

Barbara